Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Notes to my unborn child: Honesty
In a few short weeks, you will start your life journey, out in the world. Finding your way in the world can be as daunting as it is exhilerating. It is only through interacting with the world that you discover who you truly are: and what a magnificent journey of discovering that is.
There really is no map for life, but I do believe that there are coordinates: the values that we hold dear, the values that we live by, these values give us our sense of perspective and, perhaps most importantly, an understanding of how to navigate our way through life when the rivers are inexplicably transformed into white water rapids.
There are many ways to understand values, and you will discover your own unique perspective as you journey, but here are a few ideas to mull over, in the meantime. As you will discover, all values are ultimately interwoven into each other, making it impossible to live one value without living several others simultaneously).
Honesty and Truth are closely aligned, though different. Honesty is about seeing what is. It is about going beyond what we are told to believe, and discovering the essence for ourselves. It is about seeing both the 'good' and 'bad' and, ultimately, seeing through 'good' and 'bad'.
Honesty is aligned with Integrity. Honesty allows you to stand on firm ground, free of lies and deceits, and the fear of being 'caught out'. It is the equivalent of finding the Northern Star, for when you live from honesty, you always know where you stand.
What I have learnt about Honesty
I have always tried to speak as if the world was listening. I don't like speaking behind people's backs so I have always considered, "if this statement were heard by that person, how would they feel?"
For that reason, I have tended to focus rather more on the positive and on the potential, rather than on the muddiness of a situation or person. For this, some people think I am naive. Perhaps... but by seeing the potential is anyone, we automatically create a connection to that potential: it is suddenly closer and more possible than it was before.
If there is a flaw in this approach, it is that I struggle with giving critical feedback, even when it's necessary. Learning to understand that people do recover from having their feelings hurt has been a big learning for me.
My wish for you
My wish for you is that you learn to stand gracefully in honesty. That you can see the good, the potential that exists and, where necessary, you have the courage to stand up and say, "The Emperor is wearing no clothes".